Habbakkuk Revisited – An Advent Reflection by Dave Timmer

by Christine Sine

The end of the third week of Advent and am still waiting in anticipation, savouring the Advent reflections and readings that are coming.  I am delighted that I still have enough to see us through to the end of Advent next week.  From the comments and emails it looks as though many of you are enjoying them just as much.

I love today’s reflection from Dave Timmer a restoration biologist for the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians in Western Washington.  He spends much of his spare time as an urban farmer, deacon, and father of two young boys.

Habakkuk Revisited: An advent rewrite inspired by Habakkuk 1 and 3.

Habakkuk’s complaint.

How long O Lord, must we call for help, but you do not listen?

Or see the violence! But you do not save?

Why do you make me witness injustice?

Why do you tolerate wrongs?

Destruction and violence cover the earth;

there is strife and conflict abounds.

Therefore Love is paralyzed,

and justice never prevails.

The Lord’s answer.

Look at the creation and watch –

and be utterly amazed.

For I am going to do something in your days

that you would not believe.

I am raising up believers,

who are caring and thoughtful people,

who sweep across the whole earth

to give of themselves for others.

They are a delightful and respected people;

they share their knowledge

in a bountiful manner.

Their churches plunge headlong

their people dig in where they are.

They soar like an eagle uplifting the lowly;

they come bent on Peace.

Their people are like a forest breeze

freeing the oppressed like wind.

They find the lost

and push forth the last.

They laugh in their cities

building lasting friendships and enjoying them.

Then they bless their communities

and hold fast –

beautiful people, whose God is their strength.

Habakkuk’s prayer.

Lord I have heard of your fame;

I stand in awe of your creation, O Lord.

Renew it in our day,

in our time restore your handiwork;

in grace and mercy.

Christ the Lord incarnated amongst us

the Son came down from Heaven.

His glory covered the heavens

and his praise filled the earth.

His splendor was like a sunrise;

rays flashed from his hands

from which his love was made apparent.

Mercy went before him;

justice followed in his footsteps.

He stood and took our pain;

he lives and makes us humble.

His Kingdom is eternal.

Will your rivers run free, O Lord?

Will your streams flow uncontaminated?

Will you refill the oceans with creatures

as Peace spreads through creation

and your Kingdom is fulfilled.

You will pour out your compassion

and call for justice.

You will supply dry earth with water;

the mountains with ancient forests

and springs of water will nourish our crops.

Chaos will be pushed away

and its destruction will cease.

Sun and moon will not be obscured by pollution

as your kingdom unfurls

as your redemption continues.

In peace you will stroll through the earth

and in grace you will sustain your creation.

You came down to deliver your people,

to save your creation.

You’ve reclaimed the leaders of destruction

and brought down the powerful.

With their own greed you brought them down

when their arrogance attempted to scatter us.

You scattered the agents of confusion

bringing understanding upon the earth.

I hear this and my heart pounds

my lips quiver in anxiety;

My bones ache with anticipation

but my legs are slowed with time.

Yet I will wait patiently for the day of Shalom

to come upon the earth.

Though the church is ignorant

and its people are content,

though the widow is not looked after

and the orphan finds no shelter.

Though our society poisons creation

and our culture encourages destruction,

yet I will rejoice in the Lord,

I will be joyful in Christ my Savior.

The Lord Almighty is my strength;

he gives me confidence in his ways.

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